The Most Common Materials for Household Plumbing Pipes – Fox Valley Plumbing
Plastic or copper? It’s a question that presents itself to homeowner, contractors, and plumbers each day. It’s asking what type of household plumbing pipe should be used for a job. Gone are the days when a plumber grabbed lengths of copper tubing and got to work, now there are many choices to consider. We’ll take a closer look at the most popular ones here.
At J.L. Wagner Plumbing & Piping Inc., our experience providing Fox Valley plumbing has given us a great deal of practical knowledge in many different types of pipes. We can’t pick one as a favorite as there are strengths and drawbacks to each based on many factors, not the least of which is money. Some piping materials are just much more expensive than others, and then there are those which are more budget-friendly but not as durable. It can be a toss-up at times when choosing between your options.
Let’s talk about the first one everybody thinks for plumbing pipe — copper. It comes in both rigid and flexible versions. The rigid type stands up to heat and pressure well, but it’s expensive and has a tendency to develop pinhole leaks. The flexible variety is good for use in tight spots and also handles heat well, but it too is expensive and prone to breaking. Copper has value even after it’s served its purpose for various Fox Valley plumbing jobs as it can be recycled.
Now, we’ll take a look at plastic-type materials, since these are the other major piping choices that are used throughout the industry.
PEX pipe is highly flexible and inexpensive, but as it’s new to the market, its long-term viability is unknown, and it can’t be recycled.
PVC piping is mainly used for drains or vent lines. It is economical and good for long pipe runs. On the other hand, the pipes must be glued together cannot be separated without being cut.
ABS is used much the same as PVC, and it’s stronger. This pipe works well in cold temperatures.
This is a brief look at piping materials used on Fox Valley plumbing projects. Others, such as cast iron and stainless steel, may be found in older homes, but their usage is becoming increasingly rare.
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